The Flavour First Approach: Meet McCormick Canada’s Juriaan Snellen

By McCormick Canada

As executive corporate chef for McCormick Canada, Juriaan Snellen has a passion for flavour and a wealth of culinary experience.

Juriaan is originally from Europe and has significant culinary experience in quick service, casual dining and fine dining environments. In addition to his chef de cuisine certification, he has a degree in hotel management and is fluent in English, Dutch, German, French and Spanish.

Before joining McCormick Canada, Juriaan held executive chef roles with Unifine, Richardson Foods and Kraft Heinz. Prior to that, he worked as a fine dining chef in Aruba for four years, gaining extensive knowledge of Caribbean cuisine. Yet his expertise spans beyond the kitchen, as he spent some time in culinary sales for a Dutch spice and sauce company spanning the Benelux region of Europe.

At McCormick Canada, Juriaan’s culinary expertise and his passion for flavour inspire memorable meals and raise the eating experience to new levels of “wow.”

Juriaan works directly with the insights and product development teams to conceptualize, create and deliver custom flavour solutions for McCormick’s industrial and foodservice customers.

With McCormick’s “food-first” culinary mindset that combines the art and science of flavour, Juriaan incorporates the love of food into all of his work.


What do you feel you bring to McCormick as our executive corporate chef?

Having worked in various parts of the world, I believe I bring a variety of culinary flair to the table, from classic French cuisine mastered during my time at Chez Renee in the south of France, to the spicy, colourful cuisine of the Caribbean, adapted over the four years I lived in Aruba. This in combination with my 13 years of experience working for a major ketchup manufacturer in North America has given me the tools to approach food in an unconventional way and turn any ordinary meal into a feast for your taste buds. It is my vision that food should be seen as emotion on a plate, and not just fuel to keep you going, that has led to various successful projects in the past and will continue to drive passion, innovation and sales in the years to come.

Why is having a corporate chef important to McCormick?

The ability to speak the chef’s language allows me to communicate with our customer-chefs and translate their needs into feasible projects. Being the liaison between corporate chefs in the industry and the McCormick product development team gives us an advantage over our competition. In addition, having a corporate chef makes our company relevant, as lots of our retail, industrial and foodservice customers rely on the culinary services we provide.

What about McCormick’s “food first” approach to industrial flavourings makes the company unique?

As a chef, I can really stand behind this approach. It truly reflects the fact that, in my world, flavour is the most important aspect! Our mission to deliver best-in-class, competitive and unique products without compromising on flavour really sets us apart from the competition. That is our biggest asset and our customers and consumers love us for it.

What inspires you most about McCormick?

The long history of producing high-quality spices and herbs in a sustainable and responsible way, in combination with the fact that we truly embrace the field-to-fork approach, makes me proud to say I work for McCormick. That and the people at our company that I work with inspire me every day to create, cook, teach and live life to the fullest.

What’s your favourite McCormick product?

I am a big fan of our Montreal Steak Spice. It is the perfect blend of spices and herbs to create a unique-tasting flavour that everyone appreciates. I love the versatility of this product. Besides using it as a rub for your steaks and chops, why not mix some into mash potatoes or make a flavoured butter?

What inspires you most about food?

The smiles on people’s faces and the appreciation people have after eating food they really enjoyed. To a chef, that is the greatest compliment you can get.

This is the first piece in McCormick Canada’s “Flavour First” series.